Debbie McGee Reveals How She Made Her Strictly Partner Giovanni Pernice Jealous

If there’s one word that best describes Debbie McGee, it has to be inspiring. At 59, she danced her way to the Strictly Come Dancing final, and while she might not have taken home the glitterball trophy, life has anything but slowed down for Debbie since her final foxtrot.

And there’s one person who certainly hasn’t left Debbie’s life. At woman&home’s exclusive March cover shoot, Debbie revealed that she and professional partner, Giovanni Pernice, still share a very special bond. 

“I was totally surprised (and flattered) when people started saying Giovanni and I were having a secret romance. But I sort of understand why”, she said. 

“Whenever we’re together – even now – we have a great chemistry. We make each other laugh, and we make each other happy. I think we’ve both brought something to each other’s lives.”


In fact, she’s seen a lot more of Giovanni’s protective side since the show ended. 

“I’ve danced with another man since…and Giovanni might have been jealous!” she told us. “He came to watch me in panto and I had to do a Charleston with one of the other actors. Giovanni texted, saying, ‘Well done on the Charleston darling, but you’re dancing with another man!’ We had a joke about that.”

The pair are currently touring together for Strictly Come Dancing Live!, but Debbie admitted that spending less time with Giovanni following her stint on the show wasn’t easy. 

“The first day I arrived for panto, fellow cast member Lynne McGranger, who did the Australian Strictly, warned me about ‘partnership separation syndrome'”, she said. 

“I definitely suffered from that. I’d spent four months seeing Giovanni seven days a week for a minimum of ten hours a day; we’d been a team, just like Paul and I were. When it suddenly stopped, I missed the constant texting and joking around.” 

 Here’s hoping their special friendship continues. 

Read the full interview with Debbie McGee in the March 2018 issue of woman&home, on sale now.

Debbie is appearing in Pilgrimage: The Road to Santiago on BBC Two later this year; Strictly Come Dancing Live runs until 11 February.

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